Located in the south-east of the country, Kambui Hills Forest Reserve comprises two major blocks, Kambui North (20,348 ha) and Kambui South (880 ha). The two areas are divided by the main road linking Kenema, 10 km to the east, with the town of Bo. The Forest Reserve occurs on steep slopes, reaching 645 m in Kambui North. The reserve acts as a catchment area for a number of reservoirs that supply Kenema and surrounding communities. The vegetation is predominantly mature secondary moist forest with semi-deciduous forest on the slopes, and farmbush and thicket on the lower plains and the fringes of the reserve.
See Box and Tables 2 and 3 for key species. Over 200 species of bird have been recorded, including five species of global conservation concern.
Non-bird biodiversity: The following primates occur: Pan troglodytes verus (EN), Procolobus badius (LR/nt), Colobus polykomus (LR/nt), Cercocebus atys (LR/nt)and Cercopithecus diana (VU). Other threatened mammals known include Loxodonta africana cyclotis (EN) and the duikers Cephalophus jentinki (VU), C. niger (LR/nt) and C. maxwelli (LR/nt).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Kambui North was officially designated a Forest Reserve in 1920, Kambui South in 1932. The reserve is primarily managed as a national production forest, i.e. is exploited commercially for timber, and acts as a buffer against the exploitation of the Gola Forest Reserve (IBA SL010), about 40 km to the east. The main threat to the reserve is illegal, unsustainable timber exploitation. Subsistence hunting of bush-meat is intensive and occurs in all areas. All primates, other large mammals and some bird species, including hornbills, are hunted. The rough nature of the terrain is the only factor impeding exploitation. A number of farms exist around the fringes of the reserve, especially in those areas closest to Kenema, but these currently pose little threat. A management plan was developed by one of the logging companies, mainly relating to purported sustainable logging operations.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kambui Hills Forest Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 09/02/2023.